Tag Archives: Sebastian Faulks

Day 4 of 12 Days of Christmas : 4 Calling Birds & Song

I never liked the idea of a calling bird. It smacked of the Judas Goat, even when I was a child. But I’m told that “calling” is a mondegreen in this context and the original was probably “colly birds”. Which apparently are blackbirds.

4 calling birds, Christmas Island stamp 1977Hmm. Bit of a cheapskate suitor there, then. I mean, blackbirds come free with the landscape. All he had to do was scatter a few breadcrumbs on the lawn and then point out the descending blackbirds as her present.

Mind you, the Easter Island stamp version is along the same lines. And gulls call all right. Anglo Saxon poets thought they were the souls of dead sailors. Give me a blackbird every time.

So I’m assuming that our Day 4 gift is of tuneful birds. Continue reading